Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

How are people shipping bikes?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

How are people shipping bikes?

Old 04-26-16, 03:15 PM
  #1  
D1andonlyDman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Northern San Diego
Posts: 1,857

Bikes: mid 1980s De Rosa SL, 1985 Tommasini Super Prestige all Campy SR, 1992 Paramount PDG Series 7, 1997 Lemond Zurich, 1998 Trek Y-foil, 2006 Schwinn Super Sport GS, 2006 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
How are people shipping bikes?

I offered to facilitate for a poster on the east coast who's very interested in a nice bike here in San Diego, and I'm seeing shipping estimates on the order of $150-$200 using FedEx Ground or UPS Ground to ship a bike across the U.S. Given the shipping charges I typically see on ebay, I'd have guessed that it was more on the order of $75-100 for a full bike, and $25-50 for a frame, but apparently, it's more like double that amount.

Those prices assume I pack and ship it myself. I had a bike shop offer to do it for me, for $70 additional (which was only slightly higher than I thought it would be).
D1andonlyDman is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 03:21 PM
  #2  
oddjob2
Still learning
 
oddjob2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North of Canada, Adirondacks
Posts: 11,617

Bikes: Still a garage full

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 34 Posts
bikeflights.com, which is fedex ground. The LBS here, which is the Specialized dealer, charges $30 including all material to breakdown and pack a bike for shipping.

2016 Experience

A mountain bike from Detroit to Portland OR ran $45, a frameset same route was $38.00

Road bike from 33480, Palm Beach to Detroit was $45.00

Last edited by oddjob2; 04-26-16 at 03:43 PM.
oddjob2 is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 03:31 PM
  #3  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 11,711

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2286 Post(s)
Liked 976 Times in 639 Posts
The last time I shipped a frame was a couple years ago by fedex ground, it came to $79 for a 62cm frame which put it just a bit oversize iirc
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 05:19 PM
  #4  
francophile 
PM me your cotters
 
francophile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: ATL
Posts: 3,765
Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1072 Post(s)
Liked 465 Times in 361 Posts
ShipBikes or BikeFlights normally. Whichever is cheaper. I can usually ship anywhere east of the Mississipi $40 or less for a full bike and get it there in less than 4 days (as few as 2 days). When shipping framesets, I've shipped USPS for under $30 but last time, at $28ish, they lost the bike for a couple of days, and a fellow BF member and I were seriously sweating it (all turned out OK, bike arrived intact, I overpack everything bomb-proof). Insurance is supposedly awesome, I hear BikeFlights handles claims directly. I was initially using ShipBikes happily, I tried BikeFlights the last two and wasn't disappointed with either; operationally they're virtually the same. I used to use my FedEx biz account, but between these three (USPS/BF/SB) I'm blowing my FedEx merchant prices out of the water. I've even had two shops I used for facilitation convert after they saw the prices I was paying to ship, which were 40% less than what they typically see shipping to adjacent states (I was 5-6 large states away from both).
francophile is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 05:33 PM
  #5  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4362 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 26 Posts
How a bike is packed makes a significant difference in shipping costs.

All major carriers use "dimensional weight" using a formula (volume in inches / 166 = #s ) that converts volume to a billable weight. There are also surcharges for specific dimensions, ie the longest dimension being over X, and more significantly, the second longest dimension being over Y, or the sum of all three dimensions being larger than Z.

These rules can hit bike shippers very hard. For example, both UPS and Fedex have steep surcharges if the second longest dimension exceeds 30" which is close to bike box size. So, two bike boxes, one being 60x31x8 and 60x29x8 can incur very different fees.

It pays to know the rules and pack accordingly, working around them to the greatest extent possible.

The best rates will be if the bike is packed with the front wheel, bar/stem, saddle and pedals off, and the fork turned backward, with the front wheel nestled against the frame, all in a flat box less than 30" high. In some cases even more money can be saved by packing in 2 smaller boxes, one from frame and stuff and the other for 2 wheels. The added cost for a 2nd box is more than offset by avoiding all the oversize surcharges.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

ďNever argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.Ē, George Carlin

ďOne accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinionsĒ - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 04-26-16 at 05:37 PM.
FBinNY is offline  
Likes For FBinNY:
Old 04-26-16, 05:37 PM
  #6  
djkashuba 
Senior Member
 
djkashuba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Monte Rio CA
Posts: 1,029

Bikes: Motobecane Le Champion, Raleigh International, Bertin, Raleigh DL-1 1980, Colnago Super, Centurion Pro Tour, Follis, Bianchi Competizione, Zunow Di Picce, Brompton M6L, V.O. Passhunter, Don Farrell, Specialized Stumpjumper, Black Mountain Monstercros

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 105 Post(s)
Liked 172 Times in 58 Posts
Full bike with Bike Flights ... Virginia to California 73.00 insured. 4 days Fed Ex.

-D
djkashuba is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 05:52 PM
  #7  
D1andonlyDman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Northern San Diego
Posts: 1,857

Bikes: mid 1980s De Rosa SL, 1985 Tommasini Super Prestige all Campy SR, 1992 Paramount PDG Series 7, 1997 Lemond Zurich, 1998 Trek Y-foil, 2006 Schwinn Super Sport GS, 2006 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by djkashuba View Post
Full bike with Bike Flights ... Virginia to California 73.00 insured. 4 days Fed Ex.

-D
The quotes I got assumed 2 boxes: 1st box was 44x28x10 for the frame and most components, weighing 25 lbs, 2nd box, just for the wheels, was 28x28x8 weighing 10 lbs. Fedex ground quoted me $148, UPS ground quoted me $175. These were for San Diego to New York, with me dropping off the boxes at a FedEx or UPS main office.

Last edited by D1andonlyDman; 04-26-16 at 05:55 PM.
D1andonlyDman is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 06:36 PM
  #8  
oddjob2
Still learning
 
oddjob2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North of Canada, Adirondacks
Posts: 11,617

Bikes: Still a garage full

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
The quotes I got assumed 2 boxes: 1st box was 44x28x10 for the frame and most components, weighing 25 lbs, 2nd box, just for the wheels, was 28x28x8 weighing 10 lbs. Fedex ground quoted me $148, UPS ground quoted me $175. These were for San Diego to New York, with me dropping off the boxes at a FedEx or UPS main office.
Get it all in one box and watch your costs go way down.
oddjob2 is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 06:38 PM
  #9  
chrismorg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Garden City South Carolina
Posts: 154

Bikes: Colnago Master. Cannondale caad4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
The quotes I got assumed 2 boxes: 1st box was 44x28x10 for the frame and most components, weighing 25 lbs, 2nd box, just for the wheels, was 28x28x8 weighing 10 lbs. Fedex ground quoted me $148, UPS ground quoted me $175. These were for San Diego to New York, with me dropping off the boxes at a FedEx or UPS main office.

here is your answer and shipping size limits ................................https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgTm7XC0i1E
chrismorg is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 07:26 PM
  #10  
verktyg 
verktyg
 
verktyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,413

Bikes: Current favorites: 1988 Peugeot Birraritz, 1984 Gitane Super Corsa, 1981 Bianchi Campione Del Mondo, 1992 Paramount OS, 1990 Bianchi Mondiale, 1988 Colnago Technos, 1985 RalieghUSA Team Pro, 1973 Holdsworth

Mentioned: 167 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 748 Post(s)
Liked 416 Times in 278 Posts
BikeFlights Shipping

BikeFlights +1

I've never used ShipBikes but I've heard they're good too!


Two weeks ago I shipped some rims via BikeFlights for $19... less than half of what US Postal Service, UPS or FedEx wanted! (BikeFlights used FedEx Ground)

It was easier to do online than shipping via USPS, UPS or FedEx! They can do pickups or you can drop the package off at a FedEx facility (see note below about franchise outlets).

A few years ago all of the shippers changed to "dimensional weight" for large packages that don't weigh a lot. It's the length times the girth.

FedEx .PDF file shipping information:

https://images.fedex.com/us/services/...ines_fxcom.pdf

The shippers use a measured piece of string or a beaded chain to determine the maximum size for "standard" pricing. It can be subjective...

I had to repack a frame twice because the schwantzkopf FedEx clerk kept saying it was 1/8" (3mm) too big! Finally I took it to the post office!


NEVER use a franchise shipping outlet like the "UPS Store", Mail Box companies and franchised FedEx outlets! They wont even ask if it was good for you too! I've seen them charge more than double the standard price!

Large volume shippers get special deals from FedEx and UPS. Amazon, eBay and many online outlets fall into this category.

Individuals and small companies subsidize those enterprises. For example UPS and FedEx have additional fees for deliveries to residences!


Here's a Flickr album that I did with suggestions about packing a frame or bike:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/282672...57625469349057


verktyg

Chas.
__________________
Things aren't always what they seem... Don't believe everything you think!

Chas. ;-)

Last edited by verktyg; 04-26-16 at 07:30 PM.
verktyg is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 07:44 PM
  #11  
clubman 
Youngman Grand
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 7,250

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1693 Post(s)
Liked 821 Times in 547 Posts
My experience from Canada is completely different. No Bike-flights or anything like that. Canada Post won't ship it. Used UPS and it worked a charm. Shipped two frames in one box to Kentucky insured for $100. Hell I can't sent 4 lbs of anything in the post for less than $40 to the US. (insured)
clubman is offline  
Old 04-26-16, 09:14 PM
  #12  
italianbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 620
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
i'm going to used them next time, I shipped UPS and paid 90.00 for a frame.
italianbiker is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 06:17 AM
  #13  
daf1009
Senior Member
 
daf1009's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 3,178

Bikes: LESS than I did a year ago!

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
The quotes I got assumed 2 boxes: 1st box was 44x28x10 for the frame and most components, weighing 25 lbs, 2nd box, just for the wheels, was 28x28x8 weighing 10 lbs. Fedex ground quoted me $148, UPS ground quoted me $175. These were for San Diego to New York, with me dropping off the boxes at a FedEx or UPS main office.
Never use UPS or FedEx directly...the prices are crazy! I have used both Ship Bikes and Bike Flights...very similar and I can usually ship a frame from Atlanta to anywhere on the west coast for about $40; whole bikes run about $60.
daf1009 is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 06:43 AM
  #14  
vtchuck 
Senior Member
 
vtchuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Great White North (VT)
Posts: 486

Bikes: Falcon SR 76, Romic, Trek 660, GT Talera, Shogun 500 Touring

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Bike flights is great. I shipped a bike from Vermont to Australia...expensive but $250-$300 cheaper than FedEx or UPS. Handled all the customs stuff & it arrived in 4 days.
vtchuck is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 07:15 AM
  #15  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,069
Mentioned: 566 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3828 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,280 Times in 943 Posts
Last year we shipped my son's bicycle to him at university. We found the best rate was Purolator and were really surprised to see it come in at only $50 CDN. Nobody else was even close and I've often wondered if the agent made a mistake. The distance shipped was 3500 km. IIRC, it took three days to reach him.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 08:32 AM
  #16  
davester
Senior Member
 
davester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 1,934

Bikes: 1981 Ron Cooper, 1974 Cinelli Speciale Corsa, 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1, 1986 Miyata 710, 1982 Raleigh "International"

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked 274 Times in 162 Posts
I'm surprised at these low domestic rates. I looked into having bike flights ship my bike to and from Italy for Eroica, and the rate was more than $700, with me supplying the box and packing. At those rates it would be smarter to rent or buy a bike there. Taking the bike on the plane as excess luggage is between $0 and $300 roundtrip, depending on airline. Heck, we managed to take two bikes for that price by jamming them into a single-bike box.
davester is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 10:01 AM
  #17  
Gartenmeister 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
The quotes I got assumed 2 boxes: 1st box was 44x28x10 for the frame and most components, weighing 25 lbs, 2nd box, just for the wheels, was 28x28x8 weighing 10 lbs. Fedex ground quoted me $148, UPS ground quoted me $175. These were for San Diego to New York, with me dropping off the boxes at a FedEx or UPS main office.
I've shipped a couple dozen framesets, wheelsets & complete bikes in the last few months. Have sent complete bikes all the way to NY for under $50, insured. Most of mine are through e-Bay/FedEx, though some are through bikeflights/FedEx. I have not paid more than $60 for anything to anywhere, and that was for a frameset that went to TN. It was a really big frame. Really big frames cost way more than whole (smaller) bikes- the height number makes all the difference.

What others have told you is correct- use bikeflights (or similar), never pay retail, dimensional weight is everything, keep the box height to a minimum and put everything in one box.

My suggestion is to play with the calculator at bikeflights.com to get a real grasp on how this stuff works. Because of dimensional weight there are size thresholds that will make the cost go way up. Likewise, reductions in size sometimes make very little difference at all. You need to play with the numbers to find out, and you need to be willing to use a boxcutter.

As an example I put in your two boxes for a quote, SD to NY. The first comes in at $43. The second is $31. However, if you were to put it all in one 54x9x28 bike box the rate is $44- only $1 more than your 44x28x10 alone. But don't get over 29 for the height on that box....that sends the quote to $64. As you can see, if you run only one quote (for the size of the box sitting in front of you) you won't get to see this difference. You need to fiddle and play with the numbers to find what works best.

BTW, those bikeflights quotes do not include any insurance or the $5 residential delivery fee.
Gartenmeister is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 10:14 AM
  #18  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,310 Times in 823 Posts
My LBS has a UPS account
billed cost from UPS is passed along a fee is charged to Pad it with some recycled padding from un wrapping new bikes
and knock down and Box It.

people say some ebay sellers dont do more than put things loose in a box.

Business to business is probably lower Because unlike residential home delivery
some one will be there to receive it the first time.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 10:15 AM
  #19  
D1andonlyDman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Northern San Diego
Posts: 1,857

Bikes: mid 1980s De Rosa SL, 1985 Tommasini Super Prestige all Campy SR, 1992 Paramount PDG Series 7, 1997 Lemond Zurich, 1998 Trek Y-foil, 2006 Schwinn Super Sport GS, 2006 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I wanted to thank everyone for their very useful inputs in this thread. So the moral of the story is, use bikeflights or their competitor, and put everything in one bike box that does not exceed 29" in height, and of course, pack it all well. Thanks again to everyone.
D1andonlyDman is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 10:33 AM
  #20  
oddjob2
Still learning
 
oddjob2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North of Canada, Adirondacks
Posts: 11,617

Bikes: Still a garage full

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
I wanted to thank everyone for their very useful inputs in this thread. So the moral of the story is, use bikeflights or their competitor, and put everything in one bike box that does not exceed 29" in height, and of course, pack it all well. Thanks again to everyone.
Total box dimension should be 108 inches I believe. Furthermore, an extra inch of box thickness is the biggest penalty as it affects cubic inches the most. I often use flat screen tv boxes for frames.
oddjob2 is offline  
Old 04-27-16, 10:51 AM
  #21  
speedy25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: NE oHIo
Posts: 965

Bikes: Specialized, Trek, Diamondback, Schwinn, Peugeot

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
You guys forgot one- Greyhound. You dont get the wacky big box rates with them. I ship bikes and camping gear from Ohio to AZ when we go west. Price is affordable and so far its also reliable. For the rate I wouldnt mind if the delivery date is a day off, its still more reliable than USPS.

-SP
speedy25 is offline  
Likes For speedy25:
Old 04-27-16, 11:47 AM
  #22  
mparker326
Senior Member
 
mparker326's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,978

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount P15, Fisher Montare, Proteus, Rivendell Quickbeam

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Total box dimension should be 108 inches I believe.
108 is for USPS. 130 for FedEx ground.
mparker326 is offline  
Old 09-09-20, 10:47 AM
  #23  
igz
Junior Member
 
igz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 18

Bikes: 1985 Miyata 912, 1982 Miyata 110, 1988 Bianchi Grizzly

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
*Thread bump* just to ask if there are any specific shipping companies users have used within Canada. This is the first time Iíve been considering shipping a bike, and I find a lot of the companies (aside from usual fedex, ups, etc) Iíve found are US only.
igz is offline  
Old 09-09-20, 10:52 AM
  #24  
mongol777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,128

Bikes: are all mine

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by igz View Post
*Thread bump* just to ask if there are any specific shipping companies users have used within Canada. This is the first time Iíve been considering shipping a bike, and I find a lot of the companies (aside from usual fedex, ups, etc) Iíve found are US only.
I shipped 4 bikes/bike frames this year, Canadapost with full insurance and tracking. Average was around $100CAD from Ontario to BC, NB and Quebec.
You can do estimate here www.canadapost.ca/cpotools/apps/far/business/findARate?execution=e1s1
Typical bike box dimensions are 9x22x46 and weight is usually around 20 lbs (I overpack so frame arrives safe)
mongol777 is offline  
Old 09-09-20, 06:01 PM
  #25  
Schreck83 
Senior Member
 
Schreck83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: WNY
Posts: 217
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Liked 78 Times in 45 Posts
I found ShipBikes to be much less than BikeFlights ($75 v. $130) recently. Same dimensions and weight for a full road bike in a Cannondale box from WNY to LA. Didn't try FedEx directly.
__________________
72 Super Course,73 Gitane TDF, 73 Sports Tourer, 74 Paramount, 80 Univega Gran Premio, 82 Dawes Atlantis, 84 Raleigh Alyeska, 84 Voyageur SP, 85 Miyata Sport 10 mixte,

Schreck83 is offline  
Likes For Schreck83:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.